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Ask and Show HN: Ever coded for love? Willing to share?
359 points by throwaway3189 on Aug 8, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 214 comments
Hi Hacker News, Few months ago I met someone that shook my world a little. Things were a little crazy and happened over 3 different continents in a very short time. It was wonderful, and it was greyscale. It was grandiose, and it was so desperately poor. It didn't work out.

In the beginning of our relationship, just when I was about to leave the country for a few months, I made them a website. A small one, with some notes and songs and interpretations. I'm not a painter and I'm not a musician. Coding was my go-to tool when I wanted to tell them stuff.

Recently, love wilted but the website stayed [0]. I thought, all those things that we're doing because of love, aren't they great? Aren't they a beautiful expression of us being humans? Perhaps stupid, senseless, silly - but loving humans. I'm sure I'm not the first one to create something digital, online, out of love. I wished there was this exhibition where people could go and feel some warmth, and be reminded of the different ways love looks like.

Did you ever code something for love? Or any other digital form of creation? It would be great if people could share things they've done, and also, if they feel comfortable, I'd be happy to know if they want to get a subdomain at *.thingslovemademedo.com [1] and have their content there. I'm obviously not asking for any copyright permissions, just playing with the thought of creating this anonymous archive of all-things-love. And before someone asks, no, there will never be any ads or analytics there, and I have no plans on monetizing this...

[0] chelsea.thingslovemademedo.com [1] thingslovemademedo.com

During my junior year of high school, there was a girl in my calculus class that I wanted to ask out to our homecoming. Time was running short and I had no idea how I would ask her.

Then, while sitting in class, inspiration struck.

I started coding frantically on my TI-84. When the school day ended, I spent several hours in my room refining my program.

The next day, at the end of calculus, I asked this girl if I could see her calculator. (I was well known for creating games and other useful programs on TI's, so this wasn't that far out.) She handed me her calculator. I transferred the program I had written, set it up, and handed it to her. "Press ENTER", I said, and then scurried out the door.

The program apologized for the strange manner of my asking her out to a dance, then presented a menu saying "will you come to homecoming with me?" If she pressed "No", it would go to a new menu that begged, "please?" If she pressed "yes," it would confirm one more time with a cheerful "really?" Finally, if all was successful it would thank her for agreeing to come with me.

The next day, at the beginning of class, she walked up to where I was sitting, put her calculator down on my desk, and said "Press ENTER".

She had rewritten the program so that it would a.) tell me that she would come with me, and b.) didn't walk through the same series of menus. She wasn't a programmer by any means, but had managed to figure it out.

Nothing came from that other than just a good friendship. She married one of my friends, and I married a girl I met that summer. The four of us have hung out once or twice to play games, all just as good friends.

Whoa! I have to say, I love these kinds of stories. No happy ending or sad ending. It's just a simple, plain and interesting story. Worth sharing and worth reading/watching.

I did something similar on my HP28S, writing such a question on top of a programmatically generated bitmap background, made of some hearts pattern (boolean pixel art, really).

She declined since she was interested by one of my classmate, which I already knew, btw.

Tech does not solve every problem, but I was proud of the result anyway!

Thank you for sharing. That is such a sweet story. That must've been the most amazing feeling to witness her response.

This is a beautiful story. Am I the only one who kind of got disappointed after reading the end? :)

Thanks for sharing this. It really warmed my heart.

I dated someone whose father had a small business that made home goods products (e.g. specialty laundry detergent, waterproofer, etc). He was a smart but challenging guy. Definitely the sort of father who didn’t think any guy was good enough for his daughter. Remember the first time she took me home to meet her parents in South Carolina for Thanksgiving he was, literally, cleaning his gun on the front porch.

He primarily sold his products through big box retailers like Walmart and was getting squeezed on margins. I suggested he should sell direct through a website. He scoffed at the idea.

On the long drive back to Chicago my girlfriend brought it back up and asked if I could help put her dad’s business online. This was 2001 so there weren’t really any easy options to create what he needed. Ended up spending nights and weekends for the next month building a whole shopping cart, storefront, and payment gateway. Remember learning just what a pain getting SSL setup correctly was at the time — which was part of the inspiration for Cloudflare making it free and easy many years later.

Gave the site to him for Christmas. He spent the whole day playing with it and then bragging to his friends he was now in “e-commerce.” Girlfriend was very happy. We continued to date for another 4 years until her medical career took her East and starting a company took me West. Still friends to this day.

I think her dad’s company may still using a lot of my old code. (Which, to be honest giving my coding skills, is a bit terrifying.) Ecommerce has become a big part of their distribution. And I still buy and use his detergent, which is terrific for cleaning performance fabrics like Gortex and washing sheets if your skin is sensitive to perfumes or dyes.

One more that’s fun, though maybe doesn’t really count as “programming.”

I got married a few years back. We built a wedding website for people to get details on our wedding and to RSVP. It was pretty standard (think we just used Squarespace) except we included tracking pixels for the largest ad networks (Google, Facebook, etc) throughout the site. We then bid on impressions from anyone whose browser had triggered the pixel.

We bid something absurdly high, like $1,000/CPM (i.e., $1,000 per thousand ad impressions). As a result, we were always the highest bidder for those impressions of people who’d visited our wedding website. Because of how ad network bidding works, where you generally pay what the second highest bidder bids, and because we only invited around 200 people to our wedding, we didn’t end up spending much at all. Think all in it ended up costing around $100. But for our guests, our wedding followed them wherever they went online.

If you hadn’t RSVPed yet, we showed banners encouraging you to RSVP. Once you had, we previewed some of what we had planned. And then, for a week afterward, we ran ads thanking people for coming. We set the entire thing up in an afternoon and then it just ran automatically over the next few months. I was stunned when I checked in on it after the wedding how little it had cost.

Ad retargeting is super creepy, and it was scary to see how granular I could make the targeting for very little money. But, in this case, I think it may be one of the few times people really loved being followed around the Internet by an ad.

Nearly everyone commented on how fun it was. Friends would send us screenshots of our ads next to articles they were reading. And many of our privacy conscious friends with ad blockers actually turned them off temporarily when they heard about it so they could get retargeted by our wedding.

So... a friend just sent me this as I'm known as "the guy who pranked his roommate with Facebook ads [1]." I'm also getting married on 11/11. This is absolutely brilliant. My partner and I [2] thank you for this. PM me, we'd love to invite you and your partner to our (digital) wedding.

[1] http://ghostinfluence.com/prank

[2] http://partnersinpresence.com

I would love to see the CEO of CloudFlare come to your wedding. Your prank article was a nice read and I had a good laugh.

> I'm also getting married on 11/11.

Ah, 光棍节, the most spiteful wedding date possible.

Ok, this is both creepy and brilliant. I'm totally doing this for the next major life event in which we set up a website. Kids bat-mitzvah maybe?

Wow, that is... unique.

I was going to say how sad that something like starting a company ended your relationship then clicked through to see what company you started.

I started another company that didn’t do as well before I started Cloudflare. But think, company or not, our relationship had run its course. We could have made sticking together work. But a natural divergence in our paths made us diverging in our relationship very natural and harmonious. She’s happily married with a healthy, happy child today. And my only regret is I didn’t convince her to come to my wedding… even with lots of retargeted ads.

I made a game for our wedding-website. The player has to control her and me simultaneously. It's pretty short, though. I did everything myself, graphics, music, gameplay.


A funny anecdote: Some years ago, a person asked me if it would be ok to modify the game for the wedding for his friend. They wanted to play it at their wedding as a joke. At first I didn't know what to say, but then he told me he already downloaded it and modified all the animation-spritesheets by hand, to match the look of the couple. He must have spent hours on this. I thought that was so cute that I gladly allowed him to do whatever he wanted with this. I even offered him to re-export the animations, but he already was done by then.

That game is really good! I'm not a gamer but I really enjoyed it. Took me a minute to figure it out but then I had fun.

Is the source open?

The source is open (https://10-5.de/game/c2runtime.js, seems to be built with the framework "Construct" so you'd have to find the actual game logic in there) but it doesn't seem to be open source so don't go copy-paste it willynilly.

It’s great seeing our game engine pop up in posts like this!

Thanks for making it!

In case somebody is wondering: The game was made with Scirra's "Construct 2", which is a great 2D game-maker. You can immediately try it (the current version 3) in the browser on https://www.construct.net/en/make-games/free-trial

I'm a hobbyist, and usually use Construct, Phaser or vanilla JS.

I have put the source-file on https://github.com/niorad/Ninio, you'll need Construct 2 or 3 to open it, though (paid version I think).

Tom, please allow me to say thanks for your work! As front-end-dev, I'm stunned by having C3 in the browser. I would highly enjoy reading about its software-architecture and approaches one day, especially since it's not based on any of the big front-end-frameworks.

You might enjoy Ashley's blog posts, he does dive into some of the design decisions: https://www.construct.net/en/blogs/ashleys-blog-2

Props to you, that’s a fun game, even on mobile. I’m guessing the wife must’ve loved it.

Just played- super fun! Really cute idea for a wedding website, no wonder your buddy wanted to borrow your idea!

This gameplay is brilliant! It gets super hard when they have totally different obstacles and I love it.

Reminds me of this game mechanic which is more fun to play than it is to watch:


Really cool, I love it.

Just wanted to say - I had a lot of fun playing this!

This is great, I loved it

Very neat concept.

Nice game

In 2001, I was dating a girl long-distance. We'd emailed each other so often (and cellphones weren't really a thing yet) that I decided to make a web-based app for messaging ourselves.

It was a bespoke messaging system, essentially a forum that could only ever have exactly two users. The killer feature was the ability to see whether the other person had read the message you sent.

Plus, the page would auto-refresh and put "NEW" in the page's title, so it was really easy to see whether there were new messages. (I seem to recall the web-based email clients of the day hadn't yet started doing this, so it felt like I had stumbled on some huge innovation.)

My girlfriend loved it, and we became engaged later that year. Not that I'm necessarily implying causation here.

Over the years, I rewrote the system from scratch to evolve with my web development skills. It began in Perl. About a year later, I rewrote it in PHP.

Then, circa 2005, I rewrote it in Python/Django. It was one of the very first Django apps, as I did the conversion before Django was even open-sourced (I'm one of the original developers).

The system is still humming along today, with its main purpose at this point being a fun archive of all of our correspondence from the early days.

When my gf and I met she had recently started her Phd in environmental sustainability science and was specifically looking into the fishing quota system in Iceland with mathematical modeling in mind.

The catch, haul and other related data is available on the relevant government agency's webpage down to ship granularity level through a rather nice web interface. It however contains vast amounts of data, and there is no way to get the data in bulk form (even asking the agency resulted in a 'No this is sensitive data that we can't share in bulk form' answer).

So I was rather shocked when I heard her say that she had started copying the data by hand. Knowing that it would take her ages, and would probably never be possible for her to do, I wrote a small python scraper & data transforming tool and set about scraping couple of GiBs of data into a normalized sqlite database, which I then gave her to use with her R code.

We have been together ever since (4+ years).

Ok this is not really what you asked, but it such an odd story, I think I should share it. 20 years ago I had a job at a company where the general manager hired a 'business consultant' who seemed to actually be a highly entrepreneurial sex worker, who after having sex with him in his office, (during business hours + it was a small office, less than 20 people ) she presented him with an invoice for $30,000 for 'business services'

Shortly after her last visit to our office, she contacted me offering me an extraordinarily well paid developer job.

She arranged a meeting in the dining room of the Hilton hotel, in which she had rather bizarrely covered a table with papers, and about a dozen blinged out mobile phones. After about an hour of semi-nonsensical rambling about 'innovation' and veiled threats and grand out of control promises, describing a dynamic life in which we would be travelling the world, living in 'luxury hotels' constantly moving hunting the next opportunity - she asked if I wanted to 'meet the team' and 'they're all upstairs'. Curious to see what the hell this madness was all about, I followed her upstairs to her hotel room, (bracing myself, in case I needed to fight to keep my kidneys) and sure enough, in a very small studio apartment style hotel room, with the bed pushed to the back of the room, six developers, who barely acknowledged my presence, were crammed around a trestle table, on hefty beige desktop pcs with clunky low res cathode ray monitors. At least on the monitors facing me, they were dragging and dropping visual basic controls.

She then made it clear that if selected to join her 'elite team' that a substantial part of my salary would be paid in sexual services.

Curiosity satisfied, I got the hell out of there, but I've always wondered what the hell was the story of those six men? Any of those six men, are you here? what the hell were you doing?

Haha wow. Got a good chuckle out of this

Somehow on dating apps my most successful profile line has been “Message me if you want to learn an interesting fact about toast.”

This led to me “researching” a lot of facts about toast and getting deeper and deeper into the bit. Long story short I now run toastfacts.com.

I only have about 7 facts on there right now, but I “discovered” some more good facts last night which I plan to add to the site when I get home.

One of these is not quite right:

> The word “toast” comes from the Latin word “tost” meaning “toast”.

That's a Middle English word. You can trace its etymology further back to Latin


but it won't be just "tost" in Latin.

There's a reason I put "researching" and "discovered" in quotes ;) That toast fact is exactly as correct as it's supposed to be.

voster clunis tostus est


Since toast is discussed on HN: I remember this video [0] nicely explaining some nice engineering of an interesting toaster.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OfxlSG6q5Y

I just learned a whole lot about toast.

When I proposed to my now wife, I built a reverse geocache box. It had a one way mirror on the top and button on the top. It showed you how far you were and what direction you needed to move towards. It took us to various locations where we had gone on notable dates. Once we got to a particularly scenic hill side, it unlocked and the ring was inside with some roommates hiding in the bushes with a DSLR.

There was just one minor hiccup, I taught my roommates some rudimentary C and gave them a list of GPS coordinates they could pick from. The idea was that I wouldn't even know where we were going. However, they made a mistake and skipped an index in the array, leaving it as zeroed out data. We pressed the button and it listed the next location as 3000 miles away to the East. Luckily, I somehow had the foresight to install a reed switch in one of the corners. I grabbed a magnet from the car and skipped that landmark, breathing a sight of relief.

I have lots of good memories of drawing and sketching a secret project I titled RGCP (reverse geocache proposal) on the floor of my crappy apartment while she looked over my shoulder, trying to figure out what I was working on.

From a technical standpoint, it was a Teensy2.1 with a GPS serial module a SPI LED screen, and a servo for the latch.


my girl would think the button is a bomb...which it is in a sense

Yeah- I remember when I first gave it to her with no explanation, she was quite confused. One of the key features is that you were allowed a limited number of presses (I think only 40 or so). She wasted five or six pressed before I stepped in a gave a few pointers.

My gf at the time and I were looking to move to NYC for school. Apartment hunting isn't super fun - especially in a place neither of us were super familiar with that also happened to be NYC. AND we were going to attend separate campuses.

So naturally I wrote a script that scraped Craigslist for listings (1) in our budget, (2) calculated our individual commute times, (3) filtered the results so that commutes were under an hour or something and (4) posted the listings to a Slack channel with all the info I could scrape. It was working perfectly until she dumped me several days later.

I created https://pokemoncries.com because my girlfriend said she was really good at this as a child and I thought she would like it. She LOVED it. I polished it a bit more after this and posted it on reddit. I was amazed by the reactions/usages. People did “Pokémon cry challenges” on YouTube and it was quite viral in the Pokémon community. It has still good metrics and I updated it with the last generation. I just like that people have fun with it, I don’t think much more will come out of it.

I also created https://anagrams.io with her/for her, but that was mostly because she was so excited about it.

I just tried Pokemon Cries with my girlfriend and quizzed her on Gen 2. She got 10/10 right

This reminds me of a similar minigame on the living room TV in Hey You Pikachu for N64. Good stuff.

Great! I have done a similar quiz for pokemon routes, maybe I should polish and release it.

Apparently I had hundreds of these locked in my head without realizing it…

this is very awesome thanks for sharing! Been having a lot of fun with pokemoncries

They are thankfully no longer in existence, but I actually cut most of my mid 90s web dev chops building tribute pages to my girlfriends, replete with image carousels, autoplaying songs, marquees ...

Their chief effect was to make me indirectly desirable to a lot of other girls because they wanted their own vanity URL ..

It was a strange and glorious time.

This is essentially instagram

you may have missed a business opportunity there :-)

Every day that I do programming for a living, it's coding for love.

Not sappy honeymoon-period love (eros), but the long-term-commitment version of love that requires sacrificing my personal preferences in exchange for providing for my wife's and children's material needs (storge / agape).

Obviously I'm not unique in my willingness to do this. But looking back on my own life, the honeymoon-period love is bush-league.

Robocalls are super annoying, but kind of an amazing way to ask someone out on a date (not first date - followups where you know they'll say "yes").

Twilio has this thing called "Twilio Studio" [1] that is essentially a UI that can be used to make these fairly easily. I've asked things like cuisine and alcohol preferences, what time is best for them, and even done more creative things like SMS a scammy link for them to send details in order to collect their "grand prize" (the date).

Also, for the same person, I built an online game for her to play with her students, tailored for speech-language pathology. She works in a public school and was having a really hard time adapting curriculum to an online format (due to COVID). She and her co-workers loved it, and since then, we've made a lading page, more games, and thinking about turning it into a business! [2]

[1] https://www.twilio.com/studio [2] https://slpgames.com

One of the first programs I wrote on the Amstrad was a random number driven matchmaking program that would pair up boys and girls in my primary school class. I guess that was more titillation than love though.

I created a web based adventure in about 1998 for a girl’s birthday (featuring the A-Team, the cast of Friends, Peter Stringfellow, Alf from Home and Away, and many other celebrities whose photos I could find easily). I don’t have a backup, archive.org only had it partially and it was full of absolute filth so I wouldn’t really want to resurrect it.

In 2011 my wife (different woman, despite the excellence of the above) and I were struggling for baby names so I made a Mac app that used Bayesian stats to find out what kind of sounds and spellings you liked. I later polished it up and released it on the Mac App Store to some small but satisfying number of sales.

My son (named via the simpler algorithm of my wife deciding on her favourite name) is now 9 and I write code for/with him. Yesterday we wrote an app to show random arithmetic problems for him to practice on, in GAMBAS which is excellent for kids learning to code.

My dad wrote programming books in the 80s and we grew up around computers and learned to code quite young. I guess if anything I’d struggle to separate programming from love even if I tried.

My girlfriend complained that I ignored her texts on the messenger app LINE which is popular in Japan where we live. So I wrote a LINE chatbot that would respond to her texts with lots of interest "I'm so glad you messaged me, please tell me more!"

:D This is one of my favorites in the entire thread.

I set up my VPS to ping the router of my long-distance girlfriend every second 24/7; it made me feel nice to know I was flipping bits in her router's memory every second and having some tiny impact on the space she was living in despite being hundreds of miles away.

I also encoded a love note into the Bitcoin blockchain but I prefer not to dwell on that one.

Oh and for a while I added a HTTP header to all responses from my websites professing my love.

And I'm just now remembering the secret chat command I added to my chatbot that would tell her good night + I love you but only to her username.

This is all coming back to me after seeing this post, lol.

At one point in the distant past, when a girlfriend broke up with me, I knew that she was still occasionally reading my blog. I made sure that all traffic from her ip and geolocation was getting Rickrolled. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This seems more like hate-coding...

No, not at all. Maybe just a playful stomp. Here's the explanation of how it all went down - https://bit.ly/31vAPes

That was a great read - thanks for sharing!

I learned web dev + svg animation last year to write a bunch of dramatic essays processing my breakup - at the end of a 5 year relationship. I sent it to my ex, and it was cathartic for the both us.

I didn’t know the best way to deploy it, so ended up using Google Domains + a Google cloud Linux node server. It was terrible and went down all the time.

It should hypothetically be at https://breakup.live - but it’s currently down (and has been for god knows how long). Not sure what the metaphor means but I guess that’s what moving on is all about!

I downloaded my WhatsApp chat history with my then long-distance fiancee (now my wife), and created a bunch of graphs and analysis. Everything from word clouds to regression to anomalies (eg when she visited or I visited, chat frequency dropped dramatically, etc).

Wow, did you get something insightful from that?

Also, would like to say how you made all that?

Pretty much a Python notebook. Well one thing I remember was usage of the word "love". After we said it in real-life, there was a huge spike in usage in the chat. But the interesting thing is that even before we said it directly (eg "I love you" ), there was a build up of indirect usage (like "I love spending time with you").

Would be great if you pubslish your notebooks :))

Same thing but I did with R I think iirc. I tried with my old crush. Sadly or gladly we did't end up dating for longer.

How did you download whatsapp chat history? I thought there was no way to do it. Please help me, I need a way too. Thanks!

I'm in Android and I see an "Export Chat" option under the menu of a chat with someone. I assume that's what I used but it was years ago.

Ohh.. I didn't know it could be done on a per-user basis.

Thanks a lot!

For our wedding, I asked my now wife and a few friends and relatives to fill a “guests’ distance matrix”, where 0 equaled superclose friends and 5 complete strangers, and from a random initial layout, it bruteforced random swaps between guests untill reaching minimum distance configurations. It was a pretty dumb algorithm, but it took into consideration table capacity, party size and closedness of tables.

Of course, the wife rejected most of the outcomes, but it did decide some of the tables, spitted out interesting sittings and it helped us doing the global layout.

At the end, the overall feeling was that everyone was close to their loved ones. The energy was fantastic and everybody had a great time.

Organizing the seating arrangements at our wedding was such a pain. I remember we suggested doing "self seating" where everyone could just eat wherever they chose, and it was like I suggested inviting Satan himself to host the ceremony. My mom and Aunts shot that down SO FAST.

We did self-seating, and it worked out great. Many of the tables were exactly what we would've chosen, like "spouse's work friends", but it also let us avoid sticky situations like "number of aunts and uncles don't easily divide by the size of the tables". We wound up with great hybrids like "several cousins but also one aunt and uncle".

Later I learned that decades earlier two brothers had stopped speaking forever over a misinterpretation of the searing arrangement at a family event - it was meant to be a table of "close family", but the attendee assigned there thought it was "the kids' table".

But IMO sitting with everyone you already know is boring, one of the interesting thing about weddings is meeting new people...

Sure it was!

I think letting me do the algorithm and looking at the results was her loving way of getting me out of the way.

An alternate strategy for seating -

For our rehearsal dinner, we had maybe ~30 people, and did a 4-course meal.

For each course, everyone was assigned different tables, such that over the evening, everyone would get at least one course with everyone else

I got married last year and tried something similar using a MIP optimization problem. It came out reasonably close to what we had done by hand.

I did find https://www.improbable.com/news/2012/Optimal-seating-chart.p... as part of that process. It documents the formulation of the problem well

For someone with whom I was quite smitten, I had come up with a plan to take screenshots of the most romantic and intimate messages from the onset of our relationship contained in our WhatsApp convo and have them turned into a physical flip-book of sorts as my first Valentine's Day gift to her...

Approximately 3 months before VD, our relationship concluded. And then a week before VD, back on... like a house on fire. With nary enough time to execute the original plan, I pivoted the idea somewhat. I opted to export the 'best' few weeks from the WhatsApp convo, then proceeded to stand up a quick MVC site with the exported data presented as if it were a messaging app, complete with the very same images we each used for avatars at that time. Hosted the site off my lappy, and when she arrived for VD dinner, a link was sent to her phone, seemingly out of nowhere. She clicked it, and was greeted with this view, and the title "Budding Love" pinned as a header while she scrolled, smiled, and swelled with tears...

She was a techie chick, but didn't know how to code. She ended up confessing the best part was when I took her through and explained the purpose of all the code that I wrote for this gift I made. She even called me out for committing a sin or two (i.e. code dupe, embedded-SQL-in-C#, etc.) that I would often bitch to her about seeing at work :)

Wrote code to solve a Ladybug puzzle for my little daughter.

Wrote a Sudoku solver for my wife, and a Cryptoquote puzzle solver for her as well, for when she gets stuck.

Wrote an election list manager for a municipal candidate I supported.

A program to choose the position of strips of tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring, so that the cracks would not be adjacent. Had to measure every piece. Just so I would not have to listen to my wife remark "What a shame those two pieces are so close" for the next ten years. Named the program "Birch", from the wood. Ran ten minutes on a 286.

My first ever coding experience was on a Casio fx-6800G, a low-res graphic calculator with a limited Basic and a whopping 400-character user-programmable memory.

Had a hopeless crush in middle school. Once spent hours painstakingly coding a slowly-rendered pixel-perfect heart to show her. I think she thought it was some built-in picture function, said “oh cute”, and lost interest the next moment :-)

My wife was a teacher for a long time. She was technologically advanced, so she used spreadsheets to track all her grades. Apparently this wasn't a thing most people did.

She was required by the district to do report cards in this very crappy Mac app, which then synced with a central server when you were done. The Mac app had no import utility nor any keyboard navigation, so I had to help her manually transfer the grades from the spreadsheets to the grading program, and each kid required about 90 mouse clicks (times 32 kids).

After the first time, I decided I was going to figure out a better way.

I ended up reverse-engineering the save file format, which was sort-of-but-not-really XML. I wrote a python program that could take CSV exports from her spreadsheet and recreate the save files for the app, so I would run that, load the app up, and then just spot check a few of the grades.

The first time I did the grades that way it took twice as long as just manually entering it, but after that, doing report cards was a breeze.

In 2005, boyfriend (now hubby) and I were driving to spend the holidays with his family. Lots of siblings, and spouses, no kids, and everyone was buying gifts for eachother. The wishlist sites at the time were rudimentary - I remember wishing we could filter to unreserved items, and gift partial amounts towards bigger gifts, instead of trying to filter to trinkets on a budget. At the time I told myself, surely Amazon would do this soon enough and being pestered by the problem every giving occasion. Fast forward 10 years later, and nobody had done anything about it still. Wishlists were done by retailers in a way that benefits retailers and not even the least bit the wisher. On one occasion, my husband’s wishlist link on a major online retailer was showing feminine products ?!?! It turned out that the retailer had decided to default everyone’s wishlists to a “recommended products” list with high margin trinkets from that retailer. To top it off our baby registry was showing off on google results. Look it up now - google a retail brand and your first name and see how many people’s registries you will be able to see - many with their address showing up too (especially for baby registries).

So I’d had enough and decided to build https://www.dreamlist.com for our baby shower and beyond. Now I’m adding all kinds of features for families and features for love, and partial contributions to larger gifts, and collaborative shopping. The sky is the limit. Competitors become stores and pummel you with ads, but I’m thinking of doing SAAS for Love instead - from personal memories preservation for loved ones to personal CRM, etc. The more my kids grow the more value I see in this kind of differentiation - having a product of a different caliber ready for them to use when they become of age, without advertising and the manipulative crud that comes with it. Ping me if you are interested in this space or have ideas.

When my partner and I were dating, there was a long period where we were long distance, as they were in China teaching English. I can recall 3 projects that came out of this time

I helped set them up with an SSH tunnel, and appropriate browser settings, for bypassing the Great Firewall.

I wanted to teach them how to play Magic: The Gathering, and MTGO at the time did not seem like a good option. I built a very basic 2-player game which allowed for specifying a decklist as a set of image URLs, and had the basic motion primitives of shuffling a deck, drawing, tapping cards, and such.

One particularly nice UI thing it had, which I wish I'd see more often, is that it showed you each others cursor positions in real time, so you could virtually "point" as part of discussion or communication. [The source for this has likely been lost to the bitrot of time, but it might be buried somewhere in a backup]

Finally, we liked to watch TV shows or movies together. This was initially done as "download the same file, get on VOIP, and count-down to start", but this was fiddly, especially if someone had to pause or rewind. I built a very simple utility to synchronize playback of the file between two VLC instances. It looks like this is actually my oldest github repo! https://github.com/YenTheFirst/VLCSync

More than a decade later, they're no longer in China and thus don't need to bypass the firewall, and we lost interest in M:tG, but we married, and the video synchronization problem became remarkably simpler. :)

I made my gf a desktop application in Electron, but she left me for the QT dev she told me not to worry about

Hope you learned to avoid Electron apps :grimacing:

I guess you misread her signals.

You just made my day :)


My ex was a math major before switching gears to become a sign language interpreter. She was disappointed by the quality of math-related ASL resources and had this idea for an ASL math dictionary, so I built it for her. Fun fact, despite the interactivity, it doesn't use any JavaScript!

The source code is hosted over here: https://github.com/cosmojg/aslmath

I've tried to make a Valentine's Day website for my wife every year. This first one, with animations, was when she was playing Words With Friends alot. It actually got some attention on Reddit when she posted it: http://abbymudd.islovedby.travisbriggs.com/

This one was kind of thrown together: https://abbymudd.isverybeautiful.travisbriggs.com/

Also, as part of our bedtime routine, I write my wife a love letter email every day. They're pretty short, usually around 5-8 sentences. Well for Love Letter #400 (we celebrate certain numbers) I plugged all the previous letters into the GPT-2 small model (74 I think?) and came up with a fine-tuned model to generate automatic love letters.

I know that sounds cheesy and contrived, but she loved it. She thinks the computer letters are hilarious and remarks that some of them, I could send to her, and she wouldn't even notice the difference.

(Not going to link the GPT-2 website because it's a bit intimate).

There was a girl I liked years ago, maybe 15 years ago, and I bought her a domain name that was her name, with hosting for a website and her own email name@name.com

She had no idea what this meant and did not care about it at all, and nothing romantic ensued.

The domain expired and is held by one of those spam exchanges now.

Love finds a way, even if that way is to an ad exchange.

I was working on a secure messenger app because I had an affair and she was afraid he'd find out if we messaged each other.

Idea was that every message was encrypted with a specific password before it was shared via a server infrastructure. The message once attempted to decrypt with with the password would destroy itself after a successful or unsuccessful decryption attempt.

I had a working web prototype using JSCrypt for the cryptography part when the affair ended. Didn't continue with the project.

Worth noting that this was years before E2E encrypted messengers became mainstream.

I made a text adventure that you play in your file browser. The lines of dialogue are filenames, and the movement / dialogue options are done by switching folder (using synlinks on unices, and shortcuts on windows).

For each permutation of variables, there is a copy of the whole world. So, for example, you are in the folder x2y3key0, and you select the "pick up key" option, it will be a symlink to the x2y3key1 room, and there will then be a copy of the entire dungeon, but with key set to 1. It's surprising how much you can do, I even managed to have a combat encounter with "HP" for the player and enemy. The limiting factor is the sheer number of folders you have to make, it explodes fast when you add variables. I ended up with somewhere around 40k iirc. Originally made it as a birthday present for my girlfriend at the time, but I've been working on cleaning it up (and removing personal parts) for a public version. Planned to post it on HN when I'm done.

Edit: I also made a treasure trail that involved typing encryption keys hidden in the world into a little c program (xor encryption :D). The pièce de résistance was when it eventually spat out an android app that would scan wifi networks for a known ssid, to verify she was in a specific location before revealing the next password. The ssid was "KFC" lol. Because I knew it was guaranteed to be available.

The girl that I’m into stays up like 6 hours after I do (not in different timezones, her sleep schedule’s just very screwed up), but this meant that I wouldn’t be able to talk to her as much as I wanted to. I tried turning up the volume of my phone and did everything I could on native iOS to figure out a way to wake myself up whenever she’d text me on one of many different apps, but none of it ever really worked. I don’t really have any real coding experience, so it took me like half a day to figure out how to hack together an app that would call my phone whenever a notification with one of her usernames would pop up. For the most part, I’m still able to sleep well and get stuff done, but I’m not sacrificing being able to talk with her to do it!

I wrote a daemon that triggers every morning at 8am. It goes and fetches a positive quote, or affirmation, or advice and sends it as a text to the both of us.

Both of us wake up to the same positive thought every day.

Today's was:

Positive thought for today: Whenever we are afraid, it's because we don't know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid

When I was a cheezy cheese-filled chedderlord, I wrote a simple genetic algorithm that would evolve to spell a love message to my fiance. It was fun to watch as it got closer and closer to the goal.


Made a game for my first boyfriend for our 1 year anniversary. It was a knockoff off this great game “Candy Crushes Saga” (note the spelling, it’s not the famous mobile game from King). Tells a funny (and LGBT-related) story and the puzzles are challenging. https://pierrecorbinais.com/2017/05/25/candy-crushes-saga/

My partner and I met on a full moon, and we like to observe our lunar anniversaries. I made a small website to track the moon phase and how many full moons since we met :)


Did a RPG for my wife’s birthday. It’s only 30 minutes from start to end but full of personal references, so it was a good laugh. She’s not a gamer at all, but she used to play zelda on her nes when she was a kid.

Wow, that's super cool. Did you write about it?

Thanks for sharing.

I’ve made quite a few things _for love_! From websites that tried to quantify the love through stats (number of messages exchanges, seconds together, things we enjoyed) to text-based adventure games that were just reference after reference to ourselves and our relationship. Unfortunately because they were so personal I cannot share them as I don’t have the consent of the others involved, however I would say that from my experience, code is a fine form of expression of love and everybody who feels inspired should do it.

Not me, but someone I know well.

There's a primitive 2D limited actions per day (I think these were a thing once?) web game built in the later era of Temple Ov Thee Lemur (if that name means nothing to you that's fine, if you laughed at the pun that's also fine) http://cities.totl.net/ -- there is also an HTTPS version but er, wow, TLS 1.0 and ancient insecure ciphersuites, I think you may just as well use the plain HTTP site in terms of functional security, maybe one of us will fix it some day. I am pretty sure it's all one terrifying Perl hairball so fixing it might be unexpectedly tricky.

Big parts of Cities are just archaic memes, but one of the main things going on there is that Chris, who built almost all of it, and is named 'King Chris in the game (it's short for Fucking Chris) was courting a woman who now lives with him and she played that game a lot when it was first built. So e.g. she abused the hell out of an addictive in-game amphetamine analogue, to get more actions per day, and he added a mechanism to somewhat undo the dibilatating effects of that, for her.

In the past few months her/their cat died and I believe Cities now has a late-game cat quest in memorial to that cat although it's possible that the subsequent arrival of new kittens in the house added a distraction which means that work wasn't actually completed, I don't play any more so I don't know.

There was a girl that I liked. I'd been asking her out for a few times, and in unconventional, or as some of my friends say, creepy ways. Lol.

I bought a domain name, <hernamehere>willyougooutwith.me and put it behind a tinyurl link. On her birthday I gave a gift to her with a piece of paper of that tinyurl.

If she visits that url, there will be a 3D envelope that she can click. If she clicks that 3D envelope, a 3 page letter will come out, with her photo on the first page that I stalk from Facebook (yeah I know I'm creepy lol), and then on the second page a sentence or two asking if she's willing to go out with me, and a list of restaurants. On the third page a form in which if she fills it out I will get a text message saying that she fills the form out.

Obviously she didn't fill the form lol, but I asked her several days later whether she saw the website, and she said yes.

My friends whom I told my attempt were all like "are you crazy? that's creepy as hell, no way she's going to respond", but hey, I just learned how to code (this was 7 years ago), and making the website was fun, so I went along with it.

Now that I think about it, it was indeed creepy. And it didn't help that I was just a FOB that didn't know how to be savvy around people. If I were to do it again now, maybe I'll do it differently lol.

After that one, I did a few other attempts, but in the end she was never interested in me at all. I am now happily married with another person.


Fresh-off-the-boat, a (often derogatory) term for people who have just emigrated to the US.

I haven't really coded for love, but (partly) by love.

At different points in time:

- I have developed things that I imagined them using

- I have developed things they would see (but were not the only target. e.g. a website, or a tool that would be used by the team we were both part of)

- I have developed things as part of an activity they were also part of (e.g. a tool used in the same association)

Each time, it provides very powerful motivation to make things right, easy to use, beautiful, or straight up keep on working on things.

In any case, the code was not specifically targeted for these people.

This also can works for friends, family and other people you love, even if it's not Love. For instance, my last project was meant to watch series with my sister while we were at a different location [1]. I don't recommend using it though, I've since discovered [2], which probably does a better job for this and works in the same way.

Try to imagine people you love using your stuff while you are building them. It helps motivate getting things right and to keep going, at least for me. But it worked and allowed us to have good laughs.

- [1] https://framagit.org/raphj/mpris-sync

- [2] https://syncplay.pl/

For the proposal to my now wife I built a small tablet web application that copied the Game Of Life board game that we frequently played. I put her Mii of Tomodashis Life from various screenshots in as her character, sneakily stolen from her 3DS screenshots. She had to roll (rigged) dices to advance the game and each stop was an actual big life event (like us moving together, getting her degree, finishing her state exam, ...). The last stop was the cliché "Will you marry me?".

It was fun and infuriating to build it. In the end it only worked on her tablet, nowhere else, because I had scaling and coordinate issues, but quickly ran out of time. It was neat though! Her character had different facial expressions (depending on the screenshots I could find) and it really felt like an actual board game on a tablet, although obviously scripted.

She said she really didn't expect what would happen at the last stop, which still confuses me - I thought it was so obvious that it was rigged and where it would go! Really happy how it turned out for her.

As an homage, we put even more images of Tomodashis Life on the wedding invitations (you can marry another Mii in the game, which incidentally was me in her game - and her in mine, not that we used those screenshots). A friend of mine, working for Nintendo and on the game, forwarded the PDF of the invitation to the makers of the game and they even sent a message back. Just all in all an awesome little thing born out of such a simple idea.

While I'd love to, I don't want to share it because of a lot of personal information and the mentioned issues it has on "unsupported hardware".

Not exactly for the same intensity of the feeling but the first coherent script I wrote was to impress girl I liked in junior high.

It was hand delivered on a beautiful red floppy, printed out some ascii art and made noise. Who could resist? (spoiler: she somehow managed to).

The debian Linux distro was named after "deb" (Debra) and "ian" (Ian).

Ian Murdoch is the creator of Debian and his ex girlfriend/wife's name is Debra.

He was the creator of Debian. He passed away in 2015.

Charlotte, my dear, let me not die...

— Charlie

Define ‘love’ Charlie. Love is not a toilet, get me?...

— Charlotte


She loves you not. Thirty years on and this still gets me.

20 years ago or so, I stumbled across a few poems written as perl code. They struck me as very clever at the time, but I haven't been able to find them again.

Yes I did.

You can see the result here,


Very good writeup, my compliments.

Thank you. I have spent around a week coding it.

It took 1 month for 2x 1080 GTX to train it.

For an anniversary I built a (password-protected) site which showed a search box. When my wife searched for terms related to her, it would bring up pictures, stories, poems, etc. I'd had a bunch of friends secretly submit their own media so that there was a bunch of content! It took me probably a year to put everything together and come up with all the terms, but she loved it!

I did this as part of my wedding proposal.

I wrote up a simple web app that accepted two different secrets to "login" (one for each person). Once logged in, you were presented with a photo and asked for a comment (first thing that comes to mind or a reaction).

If only one comment was submitted, it would tell you to remind your partner to leave a comment. Once both parties submitted a comment, the photo displayed with both comments and a countdown to the next photo. The countdown varied from 12-48 hours randomly - to give me time to figure out when to actually propose. This ran for several weeks total.

It was fun to see our comments - sometimes they would nearly match. Or reveal something we didn't remember about a historical date/event we shared.

I eventually used the site to pop the question, and then made the whole thing into a photo book, including a word cloud built from each of our comments. Was really fun to see each of our most common words.

It was an incredibly simple, fun project using flask/sqlite on an ec2 instance.

I created an extremely simple wedding website for our day https://github.com/intenscia/Wedding

Thank you for opensourcing this. I took some inspiration when I built the website for my own wedding

Nice and simple!

Gosh, most of my side projects these days are for love.

1. Making a lite data analytics platform to help out a very close friend analyze some campaigns for an NPO she works for.

2. An interactive chord visualizer that visualizes triads in 3 dimensions (she's an amateur artist and intrigued by the visual side, I'm a musician and intrigued by mappings between sound and sight)

She's engaged to someone else now, but I still think the NPO thing is maybe a legitimately good business idea that I just need to shop around to gauge the wider demand.

The chord visualizer's also still neat. It's also a test-bed for a larger-scale ambition of mine of developing a platform for non-programmers to create interactive educational visualizations (in the vein of Nicky Case's articles, but with an emphasis on zero-code). That one's getting built for hate. Hate of the way our education system is held back for commercial gain.

I developed a VR experience as part of my proposal to my now-wife: https://kevintechnology.com/2018/05/03/vr-proposal.html

I wanted to take my gf out to dinner to a notoriously overbooked restaurant. I wrote a script that monitored their web site for be reservation slots, and voila within 5 minutes of them making them available I was able to book one for our first year anniversary :-)

I once coded my smart speaker so you could ask it who the most beautiful woman is and it would answer with the name of my then girlfriend, now wife.

Mirror mirror on the wall?...

I took all my moms hand-written recipes and made dithechef.com after she died. Never added any features.

[1] http://www.dithechef.com/

I’m going to make the Reuben Dip and will be back for more. You really should at least add some quick CSS, color and friendlier fonts, would’ve impressed her more. Get some use out of the domain!

I made a simple, single-page site with some ASCII art [0]. But because the page is entirely stored in the URL it will exist as long as one of us keeps the link [1]. It wasn't overly difficult, but she appreciated the gesture!

[0]: https://git.io/JJ1Ta

[1]: https://github.com/jstrieb/urlpages

This maybe considered the opposite: live preventing coding.

I designed a matching algorithm for a dating website - okcupid - just before dating my (now) wife.

I met with their CTO and convinced him it’d work over lunch at Mary Chung’s. He gave me the keys to the source so I could start the implementation.

Unfortunately, for OKC, I met my wife with a manual implementation of the algorithm. And thereby lost all time and inclination to continue.

(For those that care, it was a naive TF-IDF approach. )

> Things were a little crazy and happened over 3 different continents in a very short time.

These are generally indications of an underlying mental issue. Be on the lookout for it:


That's an incredible leap given those details.

Occams razor would suggest young love.

Good to be aware, in any case. Multiple continents is the signal.

I spent weekends and evenings on call with my dad helping him learn to program and discussing IR/NLP so that being could develop tools to better organize texts about clinical trials so that he could be better support for my mom's multiple myeloma diagnosis. He ended up developing a lot of visualisations and customized search tools.

shared because relevant, but don't really want it hosted

I was adopted at birth, and the start of my career as a programmer revolved around helping build websites and services for clinical psychologists and adopted children, as well as maintaining the forums and other channels where clinical psychologists talked about, well, all the things you talk about on forums. I made a custom CMS using CakePHP and did my damnedest to link it up with the forum. Back then I had barely a year of experience doing programming but somehow I made it all work while I was on sick leave for depression.

I kept that up for a fair few years until I got burned out with handling a full time job and going home to do more of it. However, looking back and looking at where things are now...well, some of it remains: https://clinpsy.org.uk/

That's my first legit project (amongst a couple) and I wish I had that fervour and desire to do the same again. The community around that was fantastic and it was pivotal in my decision to find my independence.

About decade ago a girl I knew moved off to Australia for a year, as her iPad was her main communication device, I made a just-for-her iPad app with Spotify playlists I could edit from my computer. https://orta.io/Mixtapes/

She's now my wife.

(and you don't have permission to put this on that site)

I wrote some code to find good names for our kids. We were looking for Hindi names easy to pronounce in English so I wrote a roughly phonetic character based language model. I trained the language model based off names from US census data, and scraped a bunch of baby name websites for Hindi baby names. We picked both our kids' names using the list.

Mine isn't a love story, but a treasure hunt: https://i.imgur.com/OH1Fotf.png

Stop reading here if you want to try your hand at it yourself!

...spoiler follows...

Several years back I met someone at a conference who made an impression. She had good technical chops and a refreshing sense of humility. We spoke on many topics, including trepidation over a big life decision she faced. Out of encouragement, and perhaps an eye to eventual recruitment, I spent that evening creating this little challenge for her.

It started with a QR code linking to a snippet of source that draws an old IBM punch card onto the screen. To decode it, she had to learn a bit about 70's technology and the IBM 80 column format.

A couple days later, I got back a short program of her own that correctly decoded the characters and ended with the comment:

    // TODO: discover all of your secrets
which I expect reflected a cheerful indignance she felt upon discovering her efforts so far only revealed a bock of ciphertext.

Her code had clarity and elegance, and included ASCII art of a punch card which I first thought was documentation but actually served as a sort of Rosetta stone constant used to derive character mappings.

Watermarks on the punch card hinted toward the encryption algorithm used in the Enigma machine, and by the end of the day she'd cracked the code. It decrypted to a short but heartfelt message of inspiration. She loved the puzzle and I had a blast creating it.

And before you ask... yes, she was cute, but I was already spoken for (and IIRC I think so was she).

Thanks for asking such a poignant question, it's great reading all the other beautiful stories your submission has evoked.

Back in 2004 I made a Pocket PC app for my girlfriend; it was an interactive map that showed how to get from the bus stop to my university. She was visiting from abroad and didn't know the area, but wanted to come visit me after my lectures. It had photos of the important junctions and landmarks that could be enlarged by tapping on the map.

She did not get lost.

This is not mine, but you reminded me of the story of the author of Higher Order Perl, who made a program to generate quilt designs to impress his girlfriend.


I used a pinch of code to propose to my wife.

First, I had friends and family of my (then) girlfriend send me videos describing what makes her awesome.

Next, I generated a dozen or so 6 character alphanumeric codes, and had Zazzle print them out for me.

Third, I built a web site that made it foolproof to type in codes and then play the videos. It had a huge textbox, and it turned lowercase into uppercase, and only accepted valid characters. It played the videos full screen. A few seconds before video ends, it has an overly with a hint for a scavenger hunt.

On the morning of the proposal,I made her breakfast in bed, gave her a gift and an envelope with the (very short) URL and the first code. After she watched the video and saw the hint, we got ready and I drove her to the location. Then gave her another envelope!

And so it went, until we arrived at our favorite waterfall hike, and at the foot of a waterfall, I handed her my camera and while she was distracted, got the ring out and got on one knee.

I made a webapp with a button on it. When first visiting the site the user was prompted with "What's your name". The second prompt was "Who are you thinking of". Next, a link appeared that the user would share with the person they were thinking of. When cliking the button, nothing would happen unless the other party also clicked within a certain timeframe. The idea was to see wether if A thought about B, would B also be thinking about A. I built it in the beginning of my relationship with a very special girl, and we have used it a lot since then. We also used to the watch Netflix shows at the same time, clicking the button to mark the moment when to press play. Later I also enabled realtime drawing on the webapp, with each person having a different color. It all worked with a simple jquery frontend and a nodejs websocket server.

I'm not a good C programmer by any means. I'm in high school and still learning and most of my knowledge is straight from K&R. That being said, I made this short program for someone I care about:


Here it is without the ASCII art:


Both compile with a quick `cc aurora.c`. It prints random ASCII to fill up the terminal (I use it at 80x24), and at some point it adds my friend's name (aurora) and highlights it.

She said it was cute.

Cute. If I'm not mistaken there is a roughly 1% probability that it won't reach 11 instances of ! in which case it won't print your friend's name. Is that intentional? Otherwise maybe you could generate a random position for the aurora string before you run the loop and check for that instead of using the variable a.

Yeah, I think that actually happened in practice too. Fortunately she doesn't know how to compile C code anyway so I was the one providing the screenshot ;)

I made a pink heart with an FPGA for my girlfriend who had a VGA/VHDL assignment. Having only limited knowledge as a CS 2nd year student, I wrote hundreds of ifs to generate it but at least I generated those ifs by Java, wasting a lot of computing units (or something?). She liked it though.

Interesting you say this, because I've seen many side projects on Github that have 'Made with love' in the footer. This typically means the project was crafted lovingly and with care (Something that can be absent when software is rushed out the door at break-neck speed)

When I was in High school I was crushing on a girl who was really into video games. Old fashioned Zelda video games to be exact. Myself, knowing absolutely zero about game programming took it upon myself to create a 2d game for her in the 3 weeks before Valentine's day. So I crammed all the c# game tutorials I could possibly find until I made a top down game where I character collected hearts that spawned randomly on the screen. It turned out pretty crappy to be honest. It flickered because I didn't have rendering correct and the character teleported because I didn't fully understand smoothing motion using the game time delta. But it got me started on a path which lead me to today. She really liked the game, but in the end we weren't meant to be.

Literally my first reaction was "what a great thread, I have to share this on Hacker News!" :D

I love that she's a subdomain. Very pragmatic, and pretty bold to step out on that limb from the getgo. I mean, it's not like every relationship has to last forever, but that's the digital equivelant of buying lingerie for your "next" girlfriend lol

I'm currently writing a simple program in Lisp for gamification of reading books: we have to pay with work done in pomodoros to earn the right to loan one. Making it for me and a friend of mine.

It's my first programming project, and it motivates to know my friend needs it too.

My wife and I created a game as a save the date for our wedding, with 8-bit avatars of ourselves that guests could play to "save the date". A number of guests played it multiple times in an attempt to be on the high scores board - we even gave out prizes to the top three scores!

We got a lot of feedback that other people would want to be able to have a similar game, so we rebuilt a customizable version where people can create their own avatars, dialogue, and other game aspects. Obviously this is a rough year for save the dates, but we're still pretty pleased with how it has turned out so far.


My partner works in education and was trying to launch a new programme, IT were super slow and refusing to update a banner on a page (Moodle site).

I quickly tested that JavaScript would be executed on the parts of the page she could control, so, I just used a simple script to replace the banner.

Somewhat unfortunately, my test to see if scripts were executed was to make an alert popup with "[name] is damn sexy" and a colleague of hers happened to be refreshing the page at the same time ;) (this was at 8pm when most people were home)

It was totally fine, banner was replaced, colleague laughed and I relearned the lesson to test things out in non visible ways (and with safe language).

In college (uk meaning not US), smart attractive girl on the course, she could just not get her head around the programming part at all so I taught her enough to pass (and in truth more than half the code in her final project was mine but typed by her) and in spending time together we realised we where attracted to each other.

We dated for a while, was a lot of fun.

We could either pick the set project or any other project that would demonstrate what they didn't specify was the language (assuming people would use the one taught in class) so I did a VT100 emulator in Object Pascal and she did the set assignment in the taught language (sadly VB6).

As a 14 year old, learning to code and having written some small programs, I got word that the woman (27) I thought I was in love with, was getting married. It was just a crush but at that hormone filled age, my mind was a mess (almost as bad as it is now! )

It's common to play games and have other activities at wedding parties here. So I spent about a week developing Get The Picture software, to be used at the wedding.

Man I was so nervous it would crash or something, but it all went fine.

I remember the weird kiddo feeling that if I could have some influence over what happened at their wedding, my crush wouldn't have _really_ been lost. Oh the cringe...

In the name of love, I used to send this girl a song every day so that when she woke up there would be a song from me which she could listen to in the morning. My idea being that it was a small romantic gesture showing her I thought of her every day. At the time, it was a long distance thing/attempt which ended up not working out later in person, but I had put together a simple website which listed the songs [0].

[0] https://sgloutnikov.github.io/Radina/


I used to be in a long-distance relationship. Like many lovers who were apart, we had lots and lots of phone calls. I made a visualization of them, and gave to her as a gift on Chinese Valentine's Day.

The name "an ocean apart" came from the Julie Delpy song [0] from Before Sunset. Oh I was young and romantic.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohiVnAyRDAA

This is really well done! Good job :)

You kids with your fancy websites. Our 36th anniversary is this week. My first "love" program was a Windows 3.1 application based on the cute banter we had. Hand-drawn icon! Writing text to the Windows Device Context!

In the 90's we got a dachshund, and I made a "dachshund head bouncing around the screen" app for the PalmPilot.

More recently, I made her an Alexa skill that tells you the weather at the track where this week's NASCAR race is being held, and a program that texts us when her favorite needle magnets come up on Etsy.

Absolutely. Had a blog only she would read. Added a new inspiring quote, a song or a picture every evening and even added a comment section to capture her reaction. It’s no longer online sadly

I’m a quirky person and wanted to propose to my girlfriend in an unconventional way. I’m also a coder with a long history of making weird websites for good causes. So I turned my proposal into a gamified art piece/website: https://helpmepropose.live

It hasn’t gotten as much traction as I’d hoped, but I still had fun making it and spending way too much time on that pixel art that perhaps no one will ever see...

Not out of that kind of love, but one of the first games I made, when I was about 11, was a "birthday party simulator" for my elder sister who was sick at the time.

It was a very simple game as you can imagine, and I have since lost the project files, however. I think it was made in Game Maker 7. I do not recall the exact mechanics but it had various birthday activities like filling and popping balloons, eating cake, and talking to people (not much in terms of dialogue though!)

I've made this quick&cute webpage[0] with my ex SO's favorite Pokemon years ago.

The audio[1] is not autoplaying anymore except on Edge / IE.

[0] https://rickynotaro.com/ma/eeveeGood.html [1] https://rickynotaro.com/ma/ma/eevee/pokemon.mp3

I have a website that I once coded for love. I don't want to share details because of my identity, but I loved a distant woman. We had strong affection for each other but at the time the romance wouldn't work for many reasons. The website mirrored something she worked on (similar to a fashion blog, but not that subject - again, identity) and I made this one in a few hours and sent it to her. She loved it.

Three years later, we're together - and couldn't be happier.

Haha, I go beautiful mind on occasion. As a system administrator, I see the entire world as systems. Everything I do is for attainment of a higher state; smooth, functional, beautiful and no wasted energy. From Unix server design, the flow of home office and way I hone my body. " want a perfect body, want a perfect soul. Want you to notice... " It' my swan song to humanity. Mostly love, with a tinge of hate at times...

I made this to celebrate my wife and I getting engaged (almost a decade ago) https://city41.github.io/L7/

It is designed to go with John Butler Trio's "Funky Tonight", so here is a video of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpcn84pc7-8

Naming our first child was tricky. My wife and I had a final list of 5 names, any of which would work as a first-middle combination. She’d randomly toss out two: “Washington Stewart? Kennedy Frakes?”

After a few minutes of that I just wrote the loop to give us all possible combinations; and from there we selected the name.

It took 2 minutes tops, and I’d have forgotten about this except she still talks about how I wrote a program to name our child.

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away... Yes. She was practically obsessed with puzzles that transition into the real world. Correct me if I'm wrong but iirc, these days they are known as warp(or larp, can't remember) games. So I built one secretly, which picked up at the time. Something like 120 people registered(all those dozens of Stephen King novels came in handy when I had to make it a bit more sinister). There was just one problem - as someone who started writing programs when he was 10 and was magnitudes more obsessed with programming than she was with those games, I over-engineered the crap out of it and no one managed to solve the cryptographic/steganographic puzzles. Tl;dr epic fail at it's finest.

I've built quite a few things for love over the years, including a blood sugar prediction app for my partner, a digital mix tape, and a silly not so me and my partner could give each other brownie points.

Here's a small summary: https://hrishioa.github.io/my-home-cooked-meals/

My wife is incredibly good at MineSweeper so I made her a clone for Valentine's a few years ago: http://valenmines.herokuapp.com/

I used the project as an opportunity to learn ReactJS. I thought she would enjoy the twist of the layout being heart shaped instead of rectangular but I think she's a purist ;)

My first present to my wife was a Sudoku generator (written in PHP) that she could use at work, since other entertainment websites were blocked.

I built a love story „movie“ using the Office assistants from a C# program.

Later that year we got married, and we still are - 14 years later

Liar! C# isn't anywhere near 14 years old! It came out when I was in highschool! From the wiki:

> It was developed around 2000 by Microsoft as part of its .NET initiative and later approved as an international standard by Ecma (ECMA-334) in 2002 and ISO (ISO/IEC 23270) in 2003.

Wait....2000 was 20 years ago. F. I'm getting old.

(I realize this feels pointless, but I honestly had to double-check the date it came out because I didn't want to accept I've been out of high school for 16 years.)

Not sure if this counts, had a crush on a girl, did her maths and physics homework for her so she could spend more time at dance practice.

Never quite hung out but liked the attention she gave me. In hindsight felt like she used me but meh, can’t deny it felt good to get those complements from someone who was way out of my league.

I made a clone of bubble shooter for my girlfriend (at the time). It was a christmas present from me to her. It was a great learning experience and she loved it! https://github.com/erkie/KM-Bubble-Shooter

I've named projects after people I loved. Those named after unrequited crushes are still cherished... all else is regret. It's never the person's name. Sometimes a name will match their initials, maybe there's a subtle double-entendre that references something I admire about the person.

A year out from our wedding date I sent my wife a link to a website I made her. It was small, but it explained that each day it would contain a new reason why I loved her. Early in our relationship my wife gave me a print out with 365 reasons why she loves me. So I took my inspiration from that list.

I asked my ex-girlfriend in highschool if she would be my girlfriend through a C program.

It was a simple multi-step y/n prompt questions, with if/else conditional switches.

At the time, we were both trying out this CS50 course and C was the first part of it.

She said yes by sending me back a similar script and we dated for a while.

This is something I made as entertainment for my significant other: https://wasd.ch/keyboard/

I had some spare time and decided to code something small that would be a fun timewaster with some inside jokes.

I wrote an animated Valentine's Day card in the form of a Java applet for a girlfriend at university. It was extremely basic - soppy romantic phrases in various shades of pink drifting slowly round the screen and bouncing off the edges. She liked it, as far as I remember.

For my last wedding anniversary, I wrote a "Choose your own adventure" Telegram bot for my wife. She got prompts that had vague hints about different activites we would then do. And depending on what she picked other options would appear later. It was a big hit.

I knew I would spend some time without an internet device and beyond reliable communication. I wrote us a private chat website that was something like 2kb so that I could load it up on stranger's phones over 2G and still get messages from, and out to my partner.

For some reason, my girlfriend has a lot of random and anonymous people emailing her / texting her.

One person became extremely egregious. So I put a tracking pixel in one of her responses to him, collected his IP address, and threatened to go to the police.

Made my high school girlfriend a motorized cat picture as a graduation gift. It was a picture of Pusheen eating a tassel; I swapped the tassel out for a real tassel and wired a servo with an ATTiny to make Pusheen “eat” it with a press of a button.

Not me, but a coworker learned how to program for the Gameboy and wrote a game that proposed, showing an animated ring and popping the question.

Sadly, I think the relationship fell apart, but it was a pretty clever way to propose, and it shows a lot of dedication.

My girlfriend who is now my wire really liked the TV show American Idol. So I jailbroke my iPhone and wrote a robodialer so she could vote hundreds of times without touching her phone (which, for context, was a Nokia flip phone)

I made a countdown to the hour of our ceremony in our wedding website. Unexpectedly, but predictably, after the ceremony the countdown become a ”count up” counting the days, hours, minutes, and seconds that we are married.

My girlfriend was moving away, but we enjoyed playing Azul so I made a web version. We did play a number of times but now it is mostly idle.


I once made a very small page generating a random number of sheeps emoji, for my ex-gf to count them. This is because she said to me she wanted to count the sheep sometimes before sleeping. She enjoyed the attention.


Built 2016 :) Google App Engine Free Quota. Lats see how long it continues.

Haha yes, when I was learning D3D and c++ in the early 2000's I made a rotating colorful cube with my girlfriend's name on the sides... for some reason. I don't think I have the code anymore.

I did something a long time back when handheld GPS receivers were just coming out. Did a long walk in the shape of a heart. Was surprised it turned out as well as it did. Don't have it online anymore.

Ok it's not coding but I modded a PC. That was in the early 2000, when the PC modding fashion started, there was no ready-made solution and components were not easy to find in my city, it was all DIY.

I made a website for my wife, girlfriend at the time, asking her to to marry me. The domain was hannahwillyoumarry.me

It had a picture of our favorite beach spot we frequented along with the question.

Not my own, but years ago I learned Dovecot exists because Timo's significant other at the time was a mail administrator who found their existing IMAP daemon insufferable.

I've written lots of small things. Some of them maybe used love as an excuse to explore some interesting idea.

For valentines day once I wrote a stupid little hack in javascript where some hearts bounce around the screen and leave trails. I sent it to a bunch of girls including one that I really liked.

I have this penpall in Germany, at one point we were really close and would talk all the time. Before bed we would always send eachother long strings of something (it was Sl[eE]*p for a while, then when emojis became popular it was the sheep emoji) so I made her a little clock with sheep around it.

I probably was sexting more than I should. I used to not keep a pin on my phone (it's so inconvenient and on android you don't even need a lock screen) so to keep the kids at church from going through everything I wrote a little web page that lets you encrypt images along with a text note and generate a data: URI that has a tiny (homebrew! yikes!) RC4 implementation to decrypt them. The whole thing was entirely client side and kind of nifty IMO. I think I got one person to use it once. I ended up finding some ugly bugs in the application (not that it mattered, it's RC4 heh) for example the original version always included an image (it would be a black png that was always the same size if you didn't add one yourself.) So if someone sends a text note with no image and then sends an image using the same password you could decrypt the first few hundred bytes of the secret image without knowing the password.

There was a girl in college I was dating and I made her a display hack in GLSL that draws a 3d flower using the cosin rose. It was rendered by relating the fragment brightness to the distance of a bunch of points in orthographically projected 3d space. The whole thing unfolded from a single bright blob and as time went on the points would move across each other making this pulsating pattern that got more and more intense until the whole thing shrank back into the single bright point. I added some code to the viewer that would check the phone's accelerometer/gyroscope so when you moved the phone around the flower would move too which give it this pretty intense VR feel.

At another point in college I was dating this other girl, it seemed like we would be apart for a while and she didn't like video games so I wrote a chess program that would let us play over text by sending moves in algebraic notation (you could also play it on the same computer, it would even check argv[0] for "cgi" and give you a web interface.) I thought I had written something pretty minimalist and was all proud of myself until I found the 4k chess program for z80.

I wrote Instacart’s first Android app and used the money to buy my now-wife an engagement ring, fly to Rome, and surprise her on the last day of her Europe trip.

My wedding website was fun to build! https://andi-and-seandon.com

I helped my love learn to code.

It's been one of the most gratifying, intimate and occasionally frustrating things I've ever done.

I wrote a Makefile that applied a bunch of imagemagick filters to thousands of photos. Married with two kids now :)

I found a stored xss vulnerability on school website and I wrote a payload that only she can see. :)

Do wedding sites count? It seem like lots of people make wedding websites now-a-days.

Nope, but the first date did involve that I would teach her JavaScript in a bar.

Recently, my fiancée is into Christmas a lot, so I set out to build an advent calendar.

She likes jigsaw so I printed a photo of us from back when we met on a generated multiple-of-24 piece jigsaw pattern to cut.

But that was a bit too simple. She enjoyed playing Human Resource Machine which was the closest she ever got to programming.

So on the back, I printed IOCCC-style Ruby code shaped in the form of a Christmas tree. With the pieces cut out and jumbled, you’d have no idea what the code would look like without solving the front side.

Once solved, when typed and run, it would reveal an URL to a XKCD-style drawing I made for the occasion.

It was tough to make code not too short nor too long, not too complex nor obvious, and able to survive the jigsaw cutting! Anyway, she enjoyed it through and through.

A quick extra en passant, a bash one liner I quickly banged out some years ago: https://github.com/lloeki/toolbelt/blob/master/hearts

I did a lot of homework trying to score a few points! I didn't though

I was in a long distance relationship for about 4 years.

I bumped into this on xkcd: https://xkcd.com/99/ and it gave me an idea.

I told my gf then that I made a little program for her. It printed out the little plaintext heart and then copied "i love you" into the clipboard.

She was impressed enough by the heart and I told her in chat to press CTRL+V. A friend of hers walked into her dorm at the time. Her friend was non-tech and really impressed with the gimmick, and that made my gf even prouder of it.

We married a few years later. My daughter has been doing zoom classes since corona. My wife used her laptop for this (which still uses Win XP) and we found the old program, which still runs fine.

made a myspace template, does that count ? oh and a patch for a space agency too (agency which refuses to hire me, how pretty)

I like your version of Chelsea #2

It’s like Randall from xkcd made a website while being in love. Awesome!

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